Since time immemorial, aphrodisiacs have always intrigued man. Foods that could make your lover weak in his knees; that could unlock the doors to uncontrollable passion; increase the libido and turn you into an insatiable sexual God…what man or woman could deny such tall claims? Whether these claims were true or simply a myth unsubstantiated by medical proof hardly seemed to matter to anyone. When you believe in something so desperately, faith makes even tall claims come to life. Heck, even if these foods did squat to make you feel romantic, they are incredibly healthy. And I think, that’s as good a reason as any to snack on them occasionally.
Chocolate – the dark variety, not the one made from milk and cocoa – was once considered food for the Gods. It contains theobromine, an alkaloid that stimulate the production of serotonin – also known as the “feel good chemical”. It also increases the levels of endorphins in the brain, which is one of the main reasons why it’s such a popular comfort food. Finally, among the other things it does is release a compound called phenylethylamine, which quickens your heart rate and induces the lovey-dovey feeling in you. No wonder it was considered the king among all aphrodisiacs.
Really? Asparagus? The properties of asparagus as a love food have been known for hundreds of years and British herbalist Nicholas Culpepper wrote that it “stirs up lust in man and woman”. In fact, in 19th-century France, prenuptial dinners for bridegrooms consisted of three courses of asparagus. Rich in folic acid, among other things, asparagus does justify its position as an aphrodisiacal food since folic acid helps in the production of histamine, which aids both sexes in having orgasms. I am reaching for a bowl of asparagus right now!
Regarded as symbols of fertility for almost time immemorial, it is also believed that almonds, or rather the fragrance of these dried fruits, aroused passion in women. In fact, 19th century French writer Alexandre Dumas is said to have dined on almond soup every single day, I mean night, before he left to keep a date with his mistress. Ahem, ahem!
The myth about the avocado being an aphrodisiac is probably attributed to the physical appearance of the fruit. In some cultures it was associated with the desirable voluptuous shape of women while the Aztec looked up at avocados hanging in pairs and decided that it reminded them of male testicles. Hence the Aztec name for the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl” which means the “testicle tree.” Oh gross! In Spain the Catholic found these fruit so obscenely sexy that parishioners were forbidden to look at them, much less eat them!
Figs are supposed to have been the legendary Cleopatra’s favorite food. The texture and the appearance of the exotic color of the fruit lend to it an erotic charm. Ancient Greeks believed they were more precious than gold, while other cultures, looking upon the fruit as a symbol for the female genitalia associated it with fertility.
Casanova is said to have gulped down 50 of these delectable mollusks. That seems to be quite enough to establish this food’s reputation as an aphrodisiac. However, there’s scientific backing for this as well. Raw oyster is a rich source of zinc, which is responsible for increasing the production of testosterone and sperm in the body. The end result? Increased libido?
So, planning a romantic dinner tonight? I don’t need to ask what you are going to serve up on the menu, do I?
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